Given where we are as a society and where we are trending, social media is a vital channel in an integrated marketing strategy. So much has changed since social media became a “thing.” New platforms are rising in popularity for different demographics, and updates are being made to established networks. But many things have remained constant, and one of those constants rules them all.
When you think about social media as an extension of brand strategy, envision the brand as a content publishing company. The objective is to provide engaging content across social media channels to connect with your audience and customers.
You create a unified experience by regularly publishing content that stays true to your brand. Your audience may differ across channels but substance, tone, voice, and visual must be carried across all. To build and strengthen a brand, consistency is important.
Ask yourself: Are you publishing regularly? Are you sharing content that supports your brand? Is your content specific to your audience? Are you finding the right balance between promotion and value?
Make sure that the messages you want to share are consistent with your core values as a business. And when it comes time to execute, be mindful of the current environment, maintaining the flexibility and sensitivity necessary to adjust to shifts. Amidst a global pandemic and racial unrest, the attitude with which you disseminate your content is crucial.
Ask yourself: Are you authentic? Are you being sensitive? Are you being something you are not? Are you staying consistent with your brand purpose?
Voice goes hand in hand with tone. Every time your brand posts on social media, you showcase your brand voice. This all ties into your values and beliefs as a brand.
Ask yourself: Are you honest, helpful, friendly, earnest? Does your voice and messaging on social media support the brand’s core values?
Your customers are paying attention so provide content that is valuable. If your content is poor, all is lost. A thorough understanding of your audience – and what will hold their interest – turns any social campaign into a powerful awareness play, that strengthens loyalty and builds trust. When properly engaged, loyal customers will seamlessly evolve into brand ambassadors. However, this cannot be accomplished unless you think of your customer and the content that will be of substance to them.
Ask yourself: Are you providing value? How are you making your customers feel? Are you creating an emotional connection?
Where should you begin? Facebook, Instagram, Twitter, YouTube, LinkedIn, Snapchat, Pinterest, TikTok… It is enough to make your head spin! But take a moment to remember that all platforms are not created equal, and all platforms may not be right for your specific brand.
Ask yourself: What are the user demographics for each social platform? Which platforms do your current customers use? Where do your future customers play?
Once you determine the right channels, identify the types of content that work best on each. Yes, you want consistency in tone and voice but the content you use on Facebook may not resonate quite the same way on Twitter. For example, a product launch on Facebook may use image ads, while video ads play well on Twitter.
Ask yourself: Do you have a test plan in place? Are you testing images, text, and formats in each channel?
Maintaining a presence on social media is clearly a must-have for any brand serious about their bottom line. Brands that invest in social media marketing benefit from increased sales and stronger customer loyalty over the competition. When consumers follow a brand on social media, research indicates that 89% will buy from that brand and 75% will increase their spending on that brand.
Be cohesive in your tone and voice. Understand your audience and the channels they traffic on. But recognize that your content and its specificity are ultimately what foster the experience and connection.